Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
- Member for
- 2 years 4 months
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Al Franken became Minnesota's second U.S. senator today, his hand holding the Bible that Paul Wellstone used when he was twice sworn into the Senate. Vice President Joe Biden swore in Franken 246 days after the Nov. 4 election and 183 days since the 2009 Senate convened. The scene was the front of the U.S. Senate chamber. Accompanied by Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former senator and vice president Walter Mondale, Franken looked up at Biden and with the words "yes, I do" accepted the oath and became senator.
ST. PAUL -- "Unallotment" is a strange word to most Minnesotans, although those who get state money know it well. In the coming months, De-mocrats are likely to drill home that word so all Minne-sotans hear that Gov. Tim Pawlenty unilaterally cut the state budget (known as unal-lotment), and Democrats will point out that occurred with support of other Republicans. It is the beginning of the 2010 election season. Legislative hearings al-ready are under way to inves-tigate the impact of Pawlenty's Wednesday budget cuts.
ST. PAUL - Nearly 3 million Minnesotans voted for a U.S. Senate candidate eight months ago, but in the end only five votes counted, those state Supreme Court justices who Tuesday decided Al Franken will be the state's second U.S. senator. The high court's unanimous decision convinced Norm Coleman to end his re-election battle, sending Franken to Washington to give Democrats 60 Senate votes, the most dominate voting block in 30 years. Tuesday's court ruling ended Minnesota's longest election contest.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision to make unilateral budget cuts could cost up to 4,700 jobs across Minnesota, the state economist told legislative leaders Tuesday. In a confrontational meeting, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, disputed some of those numbers. She told State Economist Tom Stinson that he undershot the number of jobs school districts will be forced to cut, perhaps by several hundred. Stinson said up to 600 of the 4,700 job loses would come from schools.
3:30 p.m. Update ST. PAUL - Al Franken is headed to the U.S. Senate after Minnesota's longest election contest. Norm Coleman said this afternoon that he accepts a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling saying Democrat Franken won the race and should be sworn in as the state's second senator, giving Democrats senatorial dominance. Franken could be sworn in as early as next week. Republican Coleman said that while he does not agree with the court's ruling, he respects it. Moments later, Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A southwestern Minnesota legislator who delivered some memorable speeches this year will be an assistant House minority leader. District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, was named to that position by new Minority Leader Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove. Zellers has made no other changes in the leadership team he inherited. "I am honored to have been asked and appointed to serve as an assistant minority leader," Hamilton said. "Rep.
ST. PAUL -- A 39-year-old North Dakota native is the new Minnesota House Republican leader. Fellow House Republicans gave Rep. Kurt Zellers of Maple Grove 70 percent of the vote Tuesday night in picking him to replace Rep. Marty Seifert of Marshall as minority leader. Seifert plans to announce in less than two weeks that he is running for governor. Rep. Randy Demmer of Hayfield was the other major candidate. Four ballots were needed before Zellers emerged the winner. Zellers takes over a caucus of 47 members out of the 134-person House.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar refuses to give in to a popular president's pressure to delay a new federal transportation funding plan. "We intend to move this bill forward, this administration not withstanding," a determined Oberstar said Wednesday as congressional committee work began on a $500 billion, six-year transportation funding plan that would mean more money to rebuild highways, expand transit programs and build high-speed passenger rail lines. President Barack Obama does not want the Oberstar plan to proceed.